As it grew up, it became Mahārāja Bharata's constant companion, and he always took care of it. Gradually he became so absorbed in thinking of this deer that his mind became agitated. As he became more attached to the deer, his devotional service slackened. Although he was able to give up his opulent kingdom, he became attached to the deer. Thus he fell down from his mystic yoga practice. Once when the deer was absent, Mahārāja Bharata was so disturbed that he began to search for it. While searching and lamenting the deer's absence, Mahārāja Bharata fell down and died. Because his mind was fully absorbed thinking of the deer, he naturally took his next birth from the womb of a deer. However, because he was considerably advanced spiritually, he did not forget his past activities, even though he was in the body of a deer. He could understand how he had fallen down from his exalted position, and remembering this, he left his mother deer and again went to Pulaha-āśrama. He finally ended his fruitive activities in the form of a deer, and when he died he was released from the deer's body.
Fall down from (BG and SB)
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
"If someone takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even though he may not follow the prescribed duties in the śāstras or execute the devotional service properly, and even though he may fall down from the standard, there is no loss or evil for him. But if he carries out all the injunctions for purification in the śāstras, what does it avail him if he is not Kṛṣṇa conscious?" So the purificatory process is necessary for reaching this point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, sannyāsa, or any purificatory process, is to help reach the ultimate goal of becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, without which everything is considered a failure.
The Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīs have nothing to do with material activities, and yet they perform various activities in their devotional service to the Lord. But the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, engaged in the studies of Sāṅkhya and Vedānta and speculation, cannot relish the transcendental service of the Lord. Because their studies become very tedious, they sometimes become tired of Brahman speculation, and thus they take shelter of the Bhāgavatam without proper understanding. Consequently their study of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam becomes troublesome. Dry speculations and impersonal interpretations by artificial means are all useless for the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. The Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīs, who are engaged in devotional service, are happy in the discharge of their transcendental duties, and they have the guarantee of ultimate entrance into the kingdom of God. The Māyāvādī sannyāsīs sometimes fall down from the path of self-realization and again enter into material activities of a philanthropic and altruistic nature, which are nothing but material engagements.
"Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position."
In this verse also the word bhajanti is used. Therefore, bhajanti is applicable to the Supreme Lord only, whereas the word "worship" can be applied to demigods or to any other common living entity. The word avajānanti, used in this verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, is also found in the Bhagavad-gītā. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ: (BG 9.11) "Only the fools and rascals deride the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa." Such fools take it upon themselves to write commentaries on the Bhagavad-gītā without an attitude of service to the Lord. Consequently they cannot properly distinguish between the word bhajanti and the word "worship."
The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path.
BG Chapters 7 - 12
There are many men who practice this black art, and they think that it is spiritualism, but such activities are completely materialistic. Similarly, a pure devotee, who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead only, achieves the planets of Vaikuṇṭha and Kṛṣṇaloka without a doubt. It is very easy to understand through this important verse that if by simply worshiping the demigods one can achieve the heavenly planets, or by worshiping the Pitās achieve the Pitā planets, or by practicing the black arts achieve the ghostly planets, why can the pure devotee not achieve the planet of Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu? Unfortunately many people have no information of these sublime planets where Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu live, and because they do not know of them they fall down. Even the impersonalists fall down from the brahma-jyotir. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is therefore distributing sublime information to the entire human society to the effect that by simply chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can become perfect in this life and go back home, back to Godhead.
The material contamination is so strong that even a yogī fully engaged in the service of the Lord sometimes becomes ensnared; but Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so strong that such an occasional falldown is at once rectified. Therefore the process of devotional service is always a success. No one should deride a devotee for some accidental falldown from the ideal path, for, as explained in the next verse, such occasional falldowns will be stopped in due course, as soon as a devotee is completely situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Therefore a person who is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and is engaged with determination in the process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare should be considered to be in the transcendental position, even if by chance or accident he is found to have fallen. The words sādhur eva, "he is saintly," are very emphatic. They are a warning to the nondevotees that because of an accidental falldown a devotee should not be derided; he should still be considered saintly even if he has accidentally fallen down.
The miscreants, as stated in the Seventh Chapter, who never come to the devotional service of the Lord, have no good qualifications, as is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Generally, a devotee who is engaged in the nine kinds of devotional activities is engaged in the process of cleansing all material contamination from the heart. He puts the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, and all sinful contaminations are naturally washed away. Continuous thinking of the Supreme Lord makes him pure by nature. According to the Vedas, there is a certain regulation that if one falls down from his exalted position he has to undergo certain ritualistic processes to purify himself. But here there is no such condition, because the purifying process is already there in the heart of the devotee, due to his remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly. Therefore, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare should be continued without stoppage. This will protect a devotee from all accidental falldowns. He will thus remain perpetually free from all material contaminations.
SB Canto 1
So if one does so and becomes successful in the discharge of his devotional service unto the Lord, it is well and good. But it so happens sometimes that one surrenders himself unto the service of the Lord by some temporary sentiment, and in the long run, due to so many other reasons, he falls down from the path of service by undesirable association. There are so many instances of this in the histories. Bharata Mahārāja was obliged to take his birth as a stag due to his intimate attachment to a stag. He thought of this stag when he died. As such, in the next birth he became a stag, although he did not forget the incident of his previous birth. Similarly, Citraketu also fell down due to his offenses at the feet of Śiva. But in spite of all this, the stress is given here to surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Lord, even if there is a chance of falling down, because even though one falls down from the prescribed duties of devotional service, he will never forget the lotus feet of the Lord. Once engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, one will continue the service in all circumstances. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that even a small quantity of devotional service can save one from the most dangerous position.
Contradictory orders of different persons are impossible to carry out. Therefore a compromise was selected by Arjuna by his sharp intelligence, and he separated the jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā. This was as good as cutting off his head, and yet his life was saved for all practical purposes. Here Aśvatthāmā is indicated as twice-born. Certainly he was twice-born, but he fell down from his position, and therefore he was properly punished.
From his five sons, namely (1) Yadu, (2) Turvasu, (3) Druhyu, (4) Anu and (5) Pūru, five famous dynasties, namely (1) the Yadu dynasty, (2) the Yavana (Turk) dynasty, (3) the Bhoja dynasty, (4) the Mleccha dynasty (Greek) and (5) the Paurava dynasty, all emanated to spread all over the world. He reached the heavenly planets by dint of his pious acts, but he fell down from there because of his self-advertisement and criticizing other great souls. After his fall, his daughter and grandson bestowed upon him their accumulated virtues, and by the help of his grandson and friend Śibi, he was again promoted to the heavenly kingdom, becoming one of the assembly members of Yamarāja, with whom he is staying as a devotee. He performed more than one thousand different sacrifices, gave in charity very liberally and was a very influential king. His majestic power was felt all over the world. His youngest son agreed to award him his youthfulness when he was troubled with lustful desires, even for one thousand years. Finally he became detached from worldly life and returned the youthfulness again to his son Pūru.
SB Canto 3
The brāhmaṇas, therefore, had no economic problems. The kṣatriya kings and rich mercantile men would provide them with all that they needed, and in exchange the brāhmaṇas were completely devoted to the elevation of society. That was the way of social cooperation between the different castes. When the brāhmaṇa class or caste gradually became easygoing, being fed by the society although they had no brahminical qualifications, they degraded themselves into brahma-bandhus, or disqualified brāhmaṇas, and thus other members of society also gradually fell down from the social standard of progressive life. As described in Bhagavad-gītā, the caste system is the creation of the Lord and is arranged according to the quality of work rendered to society and not in terms of birthright, as falsely claimed in the present degraded society.
An ordinary brāhmaṇa may fall from the brahma-tejas, or the power of brahminical excellence, due to his association with many fallen, conditioned souls. Brahmā, as the supermost brāhmaṇa, is afraid of such a falldown, and therefore he prays to the Lord for protection. This is a warning for one and all in the spiritual advancement of life. Unless one is sufficiently protected by the Lord, he may fall down from his spiritual position; therefore one has to pray constantly to the Lord for protection and the blessing to carry out one's duty. Lord Caitanya also entrusted His missionary work to His devotees and assured them of His protection against the onslaught of material affection. The path of spiritual life is stated in the Vedas to be like the edge of a sharpened razor. A little inattentiveness may at once create havoc and bloodshed, but one who is a completely surrendered soul, always seeking protection from the Lord in the discharge of his entrusted duties, has no fear of falling into material contamination.
When the living entity prefers to misuse his independence and glide down towards nescience, the all-merciful Lord first of all tries to protect him from the trap, but when the living entity persists in gliding down to hell, the Lord helps him to forget his real position. The Lord helps the falling living entity glide down to the lowest point, just to give him the chance to see if he is happy by misusing his independence.
Almost all the conditioned souls who are rotting in the material world are misusing their independence, and therefore five kinds of nescience are imposed upon them. As an obedient servitor of the Lord, Brahmā creates all these as a matter of necessity, but he is not happy in doing so because a devotee of the Lord naturally does not like to see anyone falling down from his real position. Persons who do not care for the path of realization get full facilities from the Lord for executing their proclivities to the fullest extent, and Brahmā helps in that procedure without fail.
The great yogī Durvāsā, under the influence of this Rudra principle, picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and a brāhmaṇa boy exhibited the Rudra principle by cursing the great King Parīkṣit. When the Rudra principle is exhibited by persons who are not engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the angry person falls down from the peak of his improved position. This is confirmed as follows:
- ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
- tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
- āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
- patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
- (SB 10.2.32)
The most lamentable falldown of the impersonalist is due to his false and unreasonable claim of being one with the Supreme.
The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and they were first revealed to Brahmā by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead while Brahmā was thinking of re-creating the material world. Brahmā is powerful by dint of his devotional service unto the Lord, and the Lord is always ready to forgive His devotee if by chance he falls down from the noble path of devotional service. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.42) confirms this as follows:
- sva-pāda-mūlaṁ bhajataḥ priyasya
- tyaktvānya-bhāvasya hariḥ pareśaḥ
- vikarma yac cotpatitaṁ kathañ-cid
- dhunoti sarvaṁ hṛdi sannviṣṭaḥ
"Any person who is engaged one hundred percent in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, at His lotus feet, is very dear to the Personality of Godhead Hari, and the Lord, being situated in the heart of the devotee, excuses all kinds of sins committed by chance." It was never expected that a great personality like Brahmā would ever think of sex indulgence with his daughter.
The soul is ever existing. Therefore nirvāṇa means to end one's material existence, and to end material existence means to go back home, back to Godhead.
Sometimes it is asked how the living entity falls down from the spiritual world to the material world. Here is the answer. Unless one is elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha planets, directly in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is prone to fall down, either from the impersonal Brahman realization or from an ecstatic trance of meditation. Another word in this verse, bhagavad-bāṇaḥ, is very significant. Bāṇaḥ means "arrow." The bhakti-yoga system is just like an arrow aiming up to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The bhakti-yoga system never urges one towards the impersonal Brahman effulgence or to the point of Paramātmā realization. This bāṇaḥ, or arrow, is so sharp and swift that it goes directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, penetrating the regions of impersonal Brahman and localized Paramātmā.
SB Canto 4
Destruction of the social and spiritual orders will not bring fulfillment of the idea of a classless society. One should strictly observe the principles of varṇa and āśrama for the satisfaction of the creator, for it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā by Lord Kṛṣṇa that the four orders of the social system—brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras—are His creation. They should act according to the regulative principles of this institution and satisfy the Lord, just as different parts of the body all engage in the service of the whole. The whole is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His virāṭ-rūpa, or universal form. The brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are respectively the mouth, arms, abdomen and legs of the universal form of the Lord. As long as they are engaged in the service of the complete whole, their position is secure, otherwise they fall down from their respective positions and become degraded.
Dhruva Mahārāja thought to himself: To endeavor to be situated in the shade of the lotus feet of the Lord is not an ordinary task because even the great brahmacārīs headed by Sanandana, who practiced aṣṭāṅga-yoga in trance, attained the shelter of the Lord's lotus feet only after many, many births. Within six months I achieved the same result, yet due to my thinking differently from the Lord, I fell down from my position.
In the very beginning, of course, he was after the kingdom of his father, and in order to get it he went to search for the Supreme Lord. But he later realized that everything is the creation of the illusory energy. From the acts of Śrīla Dhruva Mahārāja we can understand that somehow or other if one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious—it does not matter what his motivation is in the beginning—he will eventually realize the real truth by the grace of the Lord. In the beginning, Dhruva Mahārāja was interested in the kingdom of his father, but later he became a great devotee, mahā-bhāgavata, and had no interest in material enjoyment. The perfection of life can be achieved only by devotees. Even if one completes only a minute percentage of devotional service and then falls down from his immature position, he is better than a person who fully engages in the fruitive activities of this material world.
The sages continued: O great hero, for this reason you should not be the cause of spoiling the spiritual life of the general populace. If their spiritual life is spoiled because of your activities, you will certainly fall down from your opulent and royal position.
Then it will be possible to remain separate from the activities of the material body. This position of neutrality can be possible only for a devotee.
The word baddha-sauhṛdāḥ—"bound in friendship"—is particularly used here. Karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs cannot be bound in devotional service. Karmīs fully engage in the activities of the body. Their aim of life is to give comfort to the body only. Jñānīs try to get out of entanglement by philosophical speculation, but they have no standing in the liberated position. Because they do not take shelter under the lotus feet of the Lord, they fall down from the exalted position of Brahman realization. Yogīs also have a bodily concept of life—they think that they can achieve something spiritual by exercising the body through dhāraṇā, āsana, prāṇāyāma, etc. A devotee's position is always transcendental because of his intimate relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, to remain always aloof from the actions and reactions of the body and engage in one's real occupation, namely rendering service to the Lord, can be possible only for devotees.
Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-spiritual, He can descend from the spiritual sky without changing His body, and thus He is known as acyuta, or infallible. When a living entity falls down to the material world, however, he has to accept a material body, and therefore, in his material embodiment, he cannot be called acyuta. Because he falls down from his real engagement in the service of the Lord, the living entity gets a material body to suffer or try to enjoy in the miserable material conditions of life. Therefore the fallen living entity is cyuta, whereas the Lord is called acyuta. The Lord was attractive for everyone—not only the King but also the priestly order, who were very much addicted to the performance of Vedic rituals. Because the Lord is all-attractive, He is called Kṛṣṇa, or "one who attracts everyone." The Lord appeared in the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Pṛthu as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is a plenary expansion of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is the second incarnation from Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is the origin of material creation and who expands as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who then enters into each and every universe. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is one of the puruṣas who control the material modes of nature.
"When they have thus enjoyed heavenly sense pleasure, they return to this mortal planet again." Thus after exhausting the results of pious activities, one has to come again to the lower planetary systems and begin a new chapter of pious activities. It is therefore said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.12), naiṣkarmyam apy acyuta-bhāva-varjitam: "The path of liberation is not at all secure unless one attains the devotional service of the Lord." Even if one is promoted to the impersonal brahma-jyotir, he runs every chance of falling down into this material world. If it is possible to fall down from the brahma-jyotir, which is beyond the higher planetary systems in this material world, then what can be said of the ordinary yogīs and karmīs who can only be elevated to the higher material planets? Thus the wives of the denizens of the higher planetary systems did not very much appreciate the results of karma, jñāna and yoga.
In the Bhagavad-gītā (6.41-43) it is stated that one who falls down from yoga practice is elevated to the heavenly planets, and after enjoying the material facilities there he again comes down to the earthly planet and takes birth in a very rich family or a very pious brāhmaṇa family. Thus it is to be understood that when demigods fall down, they come to earth as sons of very rich and pious families. In such families, the living entity gets an opportunity to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thereby gain promotion to his desired goal. The sons of Mahārāja Antardhāna had been the demigods in charge of fire, and they regained their former position and by mystic power returned to the heavenly planets.
Although conditioned souls become very easily illusioned by these conditions in the material world, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the Supersoul, Vāsudeva, is never agitated by these transformations. Therefore it is said here (kūṭa-sthāya) that He is always peaceful and devoid of agitation because of His prowess, which is described herein as sva-rociṣe, indicating that He is illuminated by His own transcendental position. In other words, the individual soul, although within the illumination of the Supreme, sometimes falls down from that illumination because of his tiny position, and when he falls down he enters into material, conditional life. The Lord, however, is not subject to such conditioning; therefore He is described as self-illuminated. Consequently any conditioned soul within this material universe can remain completely perfect when he is under the protection of Vāsudeva, or when he is engaged in devotional service.
This indicates that although a neophyte devotee may fall down from the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness due to his immaturity, his service to Kṛṣṇa never goes in vain. However, a person who remains steadfast in his family duty or so-called social or family obligation but does not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness receives no profit. One who comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness must be very cautious and refrain from prohibited activities, as defined by Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Upadeśāmṛta:
- atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
- prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
- jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
- ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
- (NOI 2)
A neophyte devotee should neither eat too much nor collect more money than necessary. Eating too much or collecting too much is called atyāhāra. For such atyāhāra one must endeavor very much.
A neophyte devotee should neither eat too much nor collect more money than necessary. Eating too much or collecting too much is called atyāhāra. For such atyāhāra one must endeavor very much. This is called prayāsa. Superficially one may show himself to be very much faithful to the rules and regulations, but at the same time not be fixed in the regulative principles. This is called niyamāgraha. By mixing with undesirable persons, or jana-saṅga, one becomes tainted with lust and greed and falls down from the path of devotional service.
When the living entity falls down into the material world, the Supreme Lord, through His svāṁśa expansion (Paramātmā), keeps company with the living entity. In this way the living entity may some day return home, back to Godhead.
By misusing his independence, the living entity falls down from the service of the Lord and takes a position in this material world as an enjoyer. That is to say, the living entity takes his position within a material body. Wanting to take a very exalted position, the living entity instead becomes entangled in a repetition of birth and death. He selects his position as a human being, a demigod, a cat, a dog, a tree, etc. In this way the living entity selects a body out of the 8,400,000 forms and tries to satisfy himself by a variety of material enjoyment. The Supersoul, however, does not like him to do this. Consequently, the Supersoul instructs him to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord then takes charge of the living entity. But unless the living entity is uncontaminated by material desires, he cannot surrender to the Supreme Lord.
SB Canto 5
Although Priyavrata Mahārāja was serving according to the instructions of Nārada Muni meant for going back home, back to Godhead, he returned to material affairs at the request of his father. In due course of time, however, his consciousness for serving Kṛṣṇa reawakened by the grace of his spiritual master, Nārada.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (6.41), śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo 'bhijāyate. One who falls down from the process of bhakti-yoga is again offered the opulence of the demigods, and after enjoying such material opulence, he is given a chance to take birth in a noble family of a pure brāhmaṇa, or in a rich family, to be given the chance to revive his Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This actually happened in the life of Priyavrata: he is a most glorious example of this truth. In due course of time, he no longer wanted to enjoy his material opulences and his wife, kingdom and sons; instead, he wanted to renounce them all. Therefore, after having described the material opulences of Mahārāja Priyavrata, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, in this verse, describes his tendency for renunciation.
All the learned scholars have given their opinion. The mind is by nature very restless, and one should not make friends with it. If we place full confidence in the mind, it may cheat us at any moment. Even Lord Śiva became agitated upon seeing the Mohinī form of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Saubhari Muni also fell down from the mature stage of yogic perfection.
How Mahārāja Bharata increased his affection for the deer is described herein. Even such an exalted personality as Bharata Mahārāja, who had attained loving affection for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, fell down from his position due to his affection for some animal. Consequently, as will be seen, he had to accept the body of a deer in his next life. Since this was the case with Bharata Mahārāja, what can we say of those who are not advanced in spiritual life but who become attached to cats and dogs? Due to their affection for their cats and dogs, they have to take the same bodily forms in the next life unless they clearly increase their affection and love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless we increase our faith in the Supreme Lord, we shall be attracted to many other things. That is the cause of our material bondage.
Because his attraction for the deer was so intense, Bharata Mahārāja could not concentrate upon worshiping the Lord or performing his ritualistic ceremonies. Even though he was engaged in worshiping the Deity, his mind was restless due to his inordinate affection. While trying to meditate, he would simply think of the deer, wondering where it had gone. In other words, if one's mind is distracted from worship, a mere show of worship will not be of any benefit. The fact that Bharata Mahārāja had to get up at intervals to look for the deer was simply a sign that he had fallen down from the spiritual platform.
If a poor man loses some money or gold, he at once becomes very agitated. Similarly, the mind of Mahārāja Bharata would become agitated when he did not see the deer. This is an example of how our attachment can be transferred. If our attachment is transferred to the Lord's service, we progress. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prayed to the Lord that he would be as naturally attracted to the Lord's service as young men and young women are naturally attracted to each other. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited such attachment to the Lord when He jumped into the ocean or cried at night in separation. However, if our attachment is diverted to material things instead of to the Lord, we will fall down from the spiritual platform.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, in this way Bharata Mahārāja was overwhelmed by an uncontrollable desire which was manifest in the form of the deer. Due to the fruitive results of his past deeds, he fell down from mystic yoga, austerity and worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If it were not due to his past fruitive activity, how could he have been attracted to the deer after giving up the association of his own son and family, considering them stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual life? How could he show such uncontrollable affection for a deer? This was definitely due to his past karma. The King was so engrossed in petting and maintaining the deer that he fell down from his spiritual activities. In due course of time, insurmountable death, which is compared to a venomous snake that enters the hole created by a mouse, situated itself before him.
"Even if one is as strong as Lord Śiva, who carries a trident in his hand, one will nonetheless fall down from his spiritual position if he tries to insult a Vaiṣṇava. That is the verdict of all Vedic scriptures." He also says this in Caitanya-bhāgavata (CB Madhya-khaṇḍa 22.128, 22.055-056):
- vaiṣṇavera nindā karibeka yāra gaṇa
- tāra rakṣā sāmarthya nāhika kona jana
- śūlapāṇi-sama yadi vaiṣṇavere ninde
- tathāpiha nāśa yāya—kahe śāstra-vṛnde
- ihā nā māniyā ye sujana nindā kare
- janme janme se pāpiṣṭha daiva-doṣe mare
"One who blasphemes a Vaiṣṇava cannot be protected by anyone. Even if a person is as strong as Lord Śiva, if he blasphemes a Vaiṣṇava, he is sure to be destroyed. This is the verdict of all śāstras. If one does not care for the verdict of the śāstras and dares blaspheme a Vaiṣṇava, he suffers life after life because of this."
Indeed, he commits abominable acts that cause him to suffer both in this life and in the next. Consequently illicit sex must be stopped by those who are spiritually inclined or who are on the path of spiritual realization. Many devotees fall down due to illicit sex. They may steal money and even fall down from the highly honored renounced order. Then for a livelihood they accept menial services and become beggars. It is therefore said in the śāstras, yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham: (SB 7.9.45) materialism is based on sex, whether licit or illicit. Sex is full of dangers even for those who are addicted to household life. Whether one has a license for sex or not, there is great trouble. Bahu-duḥkha-bhāk: after one indulges in sex, many volumes of miseries ensue. One suffers more and more in material life. A miserly person cannot properly utilize the wealth he has, and similarly a materialistic person misuses the human form. Instead of using it for spiritual emancipation, he uses the body for sense gratification. Therefore he is called a miser.
When the Lord appears in this universe in the form of a human being, He has two purposes, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 4.8)—paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām: to destroy the demons and protect the devotees. To protect the devotees, the Lord not only satisfies them by His personal presence but also teaches them so that they will not fall down from devotional service. By His personal example, Lord Rāmacandra taught the devotees that it is better not to enter married life, which is certainly followed by many tribulations. As confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.9.45):
- yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tucchaṁ
- kaṇḍūyanena karayor iva duḥkha-duḥkham
- tṛpyanti neha kṛpaṇā bahu-duḥkha-bhājaḥ
- kaṇḍūtivan manasijaṁ viṣaheta-dhīraḥ
Kṛpaṇas, those who are not advanced in spiritual knowledge and who are therefore just the opposite of brāhmaṇas, generally take to family life, which is a concession for sex. Thus they enjoy sex again and again, although that sex is followed by many tribulations. This is a warning to devotees. To teach this lesson to devotees and to human society in general, Lord Śrī Rāmacandra, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, underwent a series of tribulations because He accepted a wife, mother Sītā. Lord Rāmacandra underwent these austerities, of course, only to instruct us; actually He never has any reason to lament for anything.
SB Canto 6
Nevertheless, at the end of his life, by chanting the four syllables of the name Nārāyaṇa, he was saved from the gravest danger of falling down. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt: even a little devotional service can save one from the greatest danger. Devotional service, which begins with chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is so powerful that even if one falls down from the exalted position of a brāhmaṇa through sexual indulgence, he can be saved from all calamities if he somehow or other chants the holy name of the Lord. This is the extraordinary power of the Lord's holy name. Therefore in Bhagavad-gītā it is advised that one not forget the chanting of the holy name even for a moment (satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ (BG 9.14)). There are so many dangers in this material world that one may fall down from an exalted position at any time. Yet if one keeps himself always pure and steady by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, he will be safe without a doubt.
There are many instances throughout the world in which even a purified person, being attracted by a prostitute, spends all the money he has inherited. Prostitute hunting is so abominable that the desire for sex with a prostitute can ruin one's character, destroy one's exalted position and plunder all one's money. Therefore illicit sex is strictly prohibited. One should be satisfied with his married wife, for even a slight deviation will create havoc. A Kṛṣṇa conscious gṛhastha should always remember this. He should always be satisfied with one wife and be peaceful simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Otherwise at any moment he may fall down from his good position, as exemplified in the case of Ajāmila.
Ajāmila said: Alas, being a servant of my senses, how degraded I became! I fell down from my position as a duly qualified brāhmaṇa and begot children in the womb of a prostitute.
SB Canto 8
I do not fear hell, poverty, an ocean of distress, falldown from my position or even death itself as much as I fear cheating a brāhmaṇa.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
(Someone may say that aside from devotees, who always seek shelter at the Lord's lotus feet, there are those who are not devotees but who have accepted different processes for attaining salvation. What happens to them? In answer to this question, Lord Brahmā and the other demigods said:) O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet.
Because of protection by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, the deer remembered his relationship with the Lord and next took birth in a good brahminical family and performed devotional service (śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo 'bhijāyate (BG 6.41)). Similarly, Citraketu fell down and became a demon, Vṛtrāsura, but he too was protected. Thus even if one falls down from the path of bhakti-yoga, one is ultimately saved. If a devotee is strongly situated in devotional service, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has promised to protect him (kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31)). But even if a devotee circumstantially falls down, he is protected by Mādhava.
The word Mādhava is significant. Mā, mother Lakṣmī, the mother of all opulences, is always with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and if a devotee is in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all the opulences of the Lord are ready to help him.
The whole tract of land known as Gokula became surcharged with dust, no one could see where the child had been taken, and all the gopīs were overwhelmed because He had been taken away in the dust storm. But up in the sky, the asura, being overburdened by the child, could not carry the child far away, although he also could not drop the child because the child had caught him so tightly that it was difficult for him to separate the child from his body. Thus Tṛṇāvarta himself fell down from a very great height, the child grasping him tightly by the shoulder, and immediately died. The demon having fallen, the gopīs picked the child up and delivered Him to the lap of mother Yaśodā. Thus mother Yaśodā was struck with wonder, but because of yogamāyā's influence, no one could understand who Kṛṣṇa was and what had actually happened. Rather, everyone began to praise fortune for the child's having been saved from such a calamity. Nanda Mahārāja, of course, was thinking of the wonderful foretelling of Vasudeva and began to praise him as a great yogī. Later, when the child was on the lap of mother Yaśodā, the child yawned, and mother Yaśodā could see within His mouth the entire universal manifestation.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
Thus the young girls of Vṛndāvana, considering what Lord Acyuta had told them, accepted that they had suffered a falldown from their vow by bathing naked in the river. But they still desired to successfully complete their vow, and since Lord Kṛṣṇa is Himself the ultimate result of all pious activities, they offered their obeisances to Him to cleanse away all their sins.
If any of the members of the four varṇas and four āśramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life.
Until his pious results are used up, the performer of sacrifice enjoys life in the heavenly planets. When the pious results are exhausted, however, he falls down from the pleasure gardens of heaven, being moved against his desire by the force of eternal time.